Sister-Ship to Arctic Sea Also Star-Crossed

Assiduous €S readers were rewarded for their diligence about a month ago when they got early word on this site about that attempt to smuggle high-performance anti-aircraft missiles to Iran aboard the Russian freighter Arctic Sea, concealed under a cargo of Finnish wood, and the unconventional measures which the Russian authorities took to call a halt to that. Now Danish newspapers are reporting some funny business in connection with the Arctic Sea’s “sister ship” – presumably another freighter (unnamed) with the same Russian ownership.

(The identical brief news-text about this appears in at least three on-line Danish papers that I’ve been able to identify; it’s a Ritzau news agency pooled report. I hate that; but OK, I’ll just close my eyes, jab my finger blindly and select to link to . . . Arctic Sea’s sister-ship runs aground, in the mainstream daily newspaper Politiken.)

What’s up? It’s pretty simple: This unnamed sister-ship has run aground off the Swedish coast, not far (northeast) from Stockholm, near the town of Norrtälje. Still, it’s mysterious: that part of the Swedish coast is pretty dangerous (check it out here, all those islands everyplace), and everyone knows that, so it is carefully marked with buoys, lighthouses, etc. instructing incoming ships “Go this way!” and “Don’t go that way!” Well, this sister-ship went a way it wasn’t supposed to go, according to Swedish Coast Guard spokesman Kenneth Neijnes, and suffered the predictable result. So the authorities got the vessel unstuck, towed it to a secure location, and took the crew off for some questioning. Who knows, maybe they’re all a bunch of Russian FSB agents again, up to no good.

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